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The Charlatan's Boy: A Novel

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  84 reviews
“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”

As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by WaterBrook Press
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Jonathan Rogers chooses the simplest of settings -- a backwoods snake-oil circuit -- to drop a young orphan boy dragged into the universal search for identity. Grady is an ugly kid. In fact, he's ugly enough to be a cash-earning candidate as the ugliest boy in the world. Yet it's the aesthetics of soul that seem to trouble him most. With the brilliant Southern subtlety cousin to writers like O'Connor, Rogers uses an elementary, rural framework to explore everyman's journey. And he excels.

I've n
As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.

It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody b
I absolutely had a blast with this book. Just the cover is enough to put me in a good mood.

I love the quirky almost Mark Twain-y style of writing, with its dialectical nuances and grammatical details. Grady, the main character is hilarious, with a self-deprecating humor that sustains the book all the way through.

The story line is solid, which is hard to do when you’re dealing with so many fantastical elements , and I never found myself bored or wishing a particular section would be over. All the
Timothy Stone
Sometimes a person may describe a book as unique. Usually they mean unique in a negative way, or, more rarely, unique in a positive way. In the case of the novel, *The Charlatan's Boy*, by Jonathan Rogers, I mean neither positive or negative by that description, just *unique*.

The book is a first-person narrative about the life of Grady, an orphan boy who is raised by a liar and huckster named Floyd. They go around the island nation of Corenwald, engaging in one con after another. The most succes
This has got to be one of the quirkiest books I've read in a while - and that's not a bad thing. The narrative was absolutely charming, and the author writes in such a natural, flowing way. The dialogue felt natural and was a pleasure to read, and the author did a wonderful job of character development. The story wasn't particularly edgy, and it didn't have any unpredictable twists; however that didn't stop me from wanting to turn the page. While I can't say that this book has reached my top ten ...more
This book starts with a fairly simple premise: a boy whose only life he's known is as the assistant to a charlatan who makes money off of duping others. This book was really cute. The story is told from the point of view of Grady, the boy, along with the voice (and miss-spelling) you would expect Grady to have. The things I really liked about this story was that the world was very well-developed and the themes were consistent. From the very beginning Grady feels alone and unloved and contemplate ...more
Scott Norris
I really wanted to love this book. I ended up just "liking" it. I'll break my review up by beginning, middle and end, as that is the most logical to me.

Beginning: Hilarious and endearing. I laughed out loud multiple times as I read this. My wife even asked, "So you're still reading that book?" each night, because there has not been a book in a long time that made me laugh so much. Plus the beginning 30-40% of the book really endears you to the main character, Grady.

Middle: Boring. Rogers lost me

Though no self-respecting Civilizer would believe the word of some country bumpkin husker. But, Proffesor Floyd has a plan: if nobody thinks theres proof feechies exist, than he'll give ‘em proof…and plenty of it.
Grady has been with Floyd as long as he can recollect, but he knows nothing of his parents or who he truly is. The life of a traveling showman is all he has ever known, and that’s just fine with him. Until Grady finds out he isn’t a feechie at all, just an ugly boy,
Grady has no memory of his origins. Not for lack of trying, though; he has spent many hours trying to remember a family or home before Floyd, a huckster who makes his living perpetrating hoaxes on villages. Each time he asks Floyd where he came from, he receives a different story. One story is that he found him squawling under a palmetto bush; another story is that his real mama gave him away because he was too ugly to keep. Grady is inclined to believe that one, because he looks different from ...more
I was provided this book in exchange for a review and am not being paid to share my wit and wisdom, etc.

So I was super excited about this book. Mostly because the title brings to mind so many interesting scenarios. None of my imagined plots ever came to fruitation, of course, but the book is just as good as I wanted it to be. Prior reviews have labeled the "voice" spot on as a spoof of Mark Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN in language and description. The author draws on his Georgia roots with folk sayi
Stephen Escalera
"See a genuine he-feechie alive and in the flesh! Amazing! Astonishing! You've never seen anyone like him!"

The life of a traveling huckster was the only life Grady could remember. He had played the part of "The Wild Man of Feechiefen Swamp" for so long, he believed he WAS a feechie. But ever since people stopped believing in feechies, Grady and "Perfesser" Floyd were having a harder time coming up with new ideas to trick people out their hard-earned money. To top it off, the "perfesser" shocked
Plot: 4 Stars
I really like the find-your-own-way tale that the story rides. I also like the sort of, unexpected ending. I say “sort of” because through the entire story I was looking for something to pop out at me and make me say “wow!” or “no way!” I was looking because the whole story seemed pretty simple and straight forward. Everything that happened I expected, except the riding a bull bit…did not expect that. I was actually scared for Grady’s life and wanted to laugh at the same time. I wis
H.A. Titus

"I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud."

The only life orphan Grady has known is a dangerous one, tramping from village to village with a huckster named Floyd. Grady and Floyd specialize in a show called The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp--because everyone wants to see a real live, in the flesh feechie, right?

Not necessarily.

When Floyd and Grady get down on their luck, they try out some other schemes, to no avail. Seems like the
"The Charlatan's Boy, by Jonathan Rogers is a unique story of right and wrong. Floyd, the ever present showman takes Grady an orphan without any past or apparent future, and transforms him into a showman. Floyd is the consomit showman and flim flammer, who cheats the unsuspecting people of the countryside out of their coppers by fakery and shams. Grady, who has no family that he can remember, other than what Floyd tells him, is transformed into a showman's apprentice. He takes great pride in bec ...more
Who am I? Why am I here?

The answers to these basic metaphysical questions provide the core of one's identity. But perhaps more important than the answers are the ones who provide those answers. When seeking the answers to the question of identity, to whom do we listen? Who tells us who we are? Who sets our purpose?

At the opening of The Charlatan's Boy Grady, the protagonist of the title, tells us that he knows nothing about his origins. “I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I
Orphan Grady knew one truth in his life, he was the charlatan’s boy. The charlatan was Floyd Wendellson. Floyd was a huckster, a true fraud and a liar. He and Grady did the feechie show for many years. Floyd told all about the legendary feechiefolk, while Grady played the part of a feechie. Some really thought Grady was a he-feechie. But people were no longer afraid of the feechies and didn’t believe Floyd’s stories anymore. So Floyd and Grady went from village to village using one scheme after ...more
Melysah Bunting
I received "The Charlatan's Boy: A Novel" by Jonathan Rogers free to read and review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was attracted to the cover. It looks like a great circus show is about to pop off of the cover. In this case, you can judge a book by its cover.

The book is written from the point of view of Grady. Grady is a young boy that's part of a traveling side show act led by Floyd. Floyd is a scam artist. The pair go from village to village making money by any means possible.
I've always had a soft spot for Young Adult fiction. I still love to read the books I grew up loving: Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, to name a few of the series I enjoyed. Well, this book is NOTHING like those! But different isn't a bad thing. Different is definitely good. In fact, one of the most meaningful lines in the book says, "It just goes to show what fear of the unknown will do to a feller." In addition to being a great story, The Charlatan's Boy is peppered with ...more
Amber Stokes
Creative, clever, and oh-so chuckle-worthy, The Charlatan's Boy is a gift I almost didn't recognize because it came wrapped in a genre I don't usually read and one that's actually rather difficult to define. It's a-bit-of-fantasy meets Mark Twain's Huck Finn, with enough of the unexpected to turn everything on its head!

Grady and Floyd make a rather ingenious pair of hucksters, and this book is packed full of some interesting schemes for winning a crowd and making some good pocket-change in the u
The Charlatan's Boy captures your imagination as it draws you into the world of Feechie's and the lives of Floyd a flim flammer, who is always thinking up the newest scheme to make money and young Grady a boy who travels with him and is drawn into his elaborate schemes!
All Grady ever remembers is traveling with Floyd from village to village playing a feechie, he has played the roll for so long that it gives him an identity, never knowing anything about himself other than what Floyd tells him, h
Storyline - Grady is an orphan who has only known the life of show business as Floyd passes him off as a fabled creature known as the feechie, which the boy believes he is for most his life. But as people stop believing in such things, Grady learns he isn't the wild creature and the two have to find a new way to support themselves. As they go from one idea to another, the finally land on an idea to bring back the feechie trade. They have to make people believe that feechies are beginning to atta ...more
Yvonne Anderson
This is a fun book - I plan to hang onto it and give it to my grandkids when they're a little older (the oldest is currently 7, and an avid reader).

But I'm afraid their dad, who's a stickler for proper grammar, might not approve. The story is told in first person by a young protagonist who's never been to school. Consequently he speaks in the vernacular of his fantasy-world day (which sounds an awful lot like what my neighbors speak... does this mean I don't live in the real world?). It's approp
Valerie Comer
The Charlatan’s Boy is a southern-style fantasy for middle graders set in Corenwald, the same world as the author, Jonathan Rogers, set his WilderKing trilogy. (Check the ‘Book Reviews’ tab in the header for my take on these stories.)

Grady has known no other life than what he’s experienced with Floyd, who makes his living by cooking up scams and touring from town to town fleecing people. As the story opens, Grady’s part of the act is to be a ‘genuine he-feechie, alive and in the flesh,’ with Flo
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, "This book deserves to be read out loud?". The Charlatan's Boy is definitely one of them. The dialect, the story, the action - this is just a great read out loud fun type of book.

We have Grady, with one blue and one green eye - short, wiry, and ugly with his unibrow, who always believed he was a feechie boy, being raised by Floyd, a traveling huckster. When the towns and villages stop believing in feechiefolk, Floyd paints the wagon and takes on
“Laaadies and geeentermen! Perfesser Floyd presents: the Wild Man of the Feechienfen Swamp!” Grady has always been with Floyd for as far as he can remember, going from village to village, performing different acts. He remembers when business was good and he would perform as “the Wild Man of th Feechienfen Swamp”, but no one believes in feechies anymore. Floyd and Grady come up with a plan to create their own Great Feechie Scare, so people will pay once more again, to see their act. After so many ...more
I have to say, this book ended up being much more then I ever expected. It has a fantastic cover that really draws the eye, and once you start reading it you really see how well it fits. This book is full of color. Colorful characters with crazy personalities being the top of that list.

Grady is such a fun character but you can't help but feel a little sorry for him. He has no family, no one to love except for Floyd who is really just using him as an act for all his shows. Floyd is a very colorf
Joel Jackson
The Charlatan's Boy is a well written novel. It clearly tells the tale of a young boy's journey from ignorance about himself to a point of knowledge. The author remains consistent with his use of language and the geography of the world he creates is quite engaging.

At times I felt a little hardpreseed to discover the point of the novel. It told the story of a journey from one end of an island to another and back again. But by the end of the novel the purpose was discovered. Even though I had diff
The Charlatan's Boy is a great fantasy book suitable for all ages. It's the ultimate "finding yourself" story. The only life 16-year-old Grady remembers is travelling with con-man Floyd. One part of Grady longs for a home and a family, and he looks for someone who looks like him in every town they visit. As one of Grady's claims-to-fame is being the Ugliest Boy in the World, this search makes for an entertaining narrative. In one town, he does see a women who he thinks may be his mother and he g ...more
On the Outside:
I LOVE the cover. I think it’s beautiful and brilliant. The cover alone gives you a great idea of what you’ll get when you open the book.

First Lines:
“I don’t remember one thing about the day I was born. It hasn’t been for lack of trying either. I’ve set for hours trying to go back as far as I could, but the earliest thing I remember is riding in the back of Floyd’s wagon and looking at myself in a looking glass.”

It’s a promising start. You get a good sense of Grady’s voice here, a
Jonathan Rogers has delivered a very fun story that will appeal to kids (and kids at heart.) Grady is a young boy who doesn’t know much about his past. His only link is a swindler named Floyd, who may, or may not be, Grady’s father. But for as long as he has memory, the two of them have been traveling the country performing a great “Feechie” act. A Feechie is a mysterious and elusive group of people who live in the swamps that may, or may not exist- not that a small fact like that could stop Fl ...more
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Jonathan Rogers grew up in Georgia, where he spent many happy hours in the swamps and riverbottoms on which the wild places of The Wilderking are based. He received his undergraduate degree from Furman University in South Carolina and holds a Ph.D. in seventeenth-century English literature from Vanderbilt University. The Bark of the Bog Owl has already found a receptive audience among Jonathan’s o ...more
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